The L-IFT team formed part of a MicroSave team to assess effectiveness of the UNCDF’s YouthStart programme by way of a financial diaries research. This financial diaries research was conducted on an intervention group and a control group.
The intervention group were youth who had a youth savings account from a local financial service provider. The control group had not been part of the YouthStart programme and had not (yet) had access to a youth savings account.
Originally it was expected that the control group could not be constructed to be credible as fully comparable to the intervention group. However, after the full research had been completed, it was found that on virtually all dimensions, apart from those that were addressed by the YouthStart programme, the control and intervention groups responded in exactly the same pattern.
Therefore, the few significant differences between the intervention and control group can be considered attributable to the programme.
The main effects of access to a formal savings account were:
It increases the frequency of savings even though not (yet) the total amount
It increased the portion of savings in formal savings mechanisms significantly
It helps youth move away from riskier, informal savings forms, particularly in a situation where there are few other financial service providers accessible to youth
It helps youth to withdraw savings less frequently
L-IFT now has a fully developed methodology to help you evaluate your programme’s beneficiaries as compared to a control group. This is suitable for (micro)finance programmes, SME finance, clean energy programmes, entrepreneurship and value-chain interventions.